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  • Yes, prepositions are a challenge. Four-year-old native speakers almost always get them right, while very advanced learners can make mistakes. But, as you say, they’re an even bigger problem for computers, and getting computers to learn how to do ‘prepositional attachment’ (attaching the preposition the right noun, for example) is very difficult. When Cherie Blair (wife of the former prime minister) was asked what her most embarrassing moment was when she lived in Downing Street, she said ‘opening the door in my nightie the morning after we moved in’. One commentator joked ‘Funny place for a door!’ – but to a computer this would be the most obvious interpretation of ‘the door in my nightie’.